Because wholesome is the New Sexy #AmericanIdolBringsClassyBack @AmericanIdol #IdolTweethearts

Disclosure: American Idol Productions treated me to Hollywood Week and covered my travel expenses. I think we can maybe all agree last season's American Idol was kinda a train wreck. I tuned in a couple times and was so annoyed/distressed by Mariah & Nikki that I quit the show entirely. I just can't stand mean girls, ok? I just. It triggers the middle-schooler in me who had buck teeth and frizzy hair. I don't play that game no more. And I was sick of seeing the exploitive let's-make-fun-of-contestants-who-can't-sing thing. It hurt my Mama heart.

So. When American Idol asked me to join them for an exclusive behind-the-scenes-tour, I was skeptical. Well, at first I thought their Twitter account got hacked. Because: WHY would American Idol follow me on Twitter? But then. It was totally legit. Like, dude. A CAR PICKED ME UP.

Mine chariot hath arrived and is whisking me off to Hollywood Week with American Idol!

And drove me to a historic hotel on Hollywood Blvd.

Roosevelt Hotel! I could see the Chinese Theatre from my bedroom window!

And then there was the personalized gift basket.

Gift basket: wine, bath salts, candle, chocolate and a Christmas tree ornament. Sooo amazing.

Even with all this VIP treatment I was all: YOU CANNOT BUY MY POSITIVE REVIEW. Because, I haz self-respect, y'all. I know what I likes and don't likes and I cannot be bought!!

Turns out, American Idol just wanted my honest opinion. Like for real. It started when I went downstairs to meetup with the other "American Idol Tweethearts" as we had begun calling ourselves. We were a group of the most down-to-earth, fun-loving, smart and amazing women from every demographic imaginable. There were social media business owners, former news anchors, a tech girl, moms with lotsa kids like me!, savvy Internet entrepreneurs, a spunky Grandma, a professional photographer...and more. We bonded immediately.

Don't nobody party like Mamas party!

Soon after, American Idol summoned us upstairs for a pre-screening of season thirteen's premiere episode. I kept expecting to cringe but instead? I started crying. And laughing. And cheering.


All I can say is that American Idol pulled it off. They've revamped and restructured and obviously worked very hard to re-imagine this groundbreaking show. After watching the premiere, it was clear they've done their research and are super focused on giving viewers what they really want: an entertaining, smart, funny and talent-centric show. I honestly CAN.NOT.WAIT for this new season. Best of all, I can watch with my whole family.

The next morning, American Idol took us on an exclusive, backstage tour of the show. I was only a LEEEETLE excited when Harry Connick Jr. showed up to personally answer our questions!

I have difficulty containing All My Feelings.

Ok, and HERE is the reason American Idol 13 is gonna be awesome: Harry. Yeah, I'm just calling him by his first name because we're totally on a first-name basis now. Ha. But seriously. This guy is legit and a real class act. He's so smart and educated about music. He's super quick-witted and a devoted family man. He brings a measure of experience, knowledge and real gravitas to the show. The way he interacts with the other judges and the contestants is FUN to watch. You guys, I couldn't be MORE EXCITED about this upcoming season. Well, I *could* be more excited but I'm really trying to dial it down. Maybe. A little. SQUUUEEEEEEE. We also got a backstage tour of Dolby Theatre (where the Oscars are held every year). I re-applied lipgloss in the contestants' staging area. Because LIPGLOSS es muy importanto. I have no idea why I launched into Spanish.

One word: LIPGLOSS.

And then there was that moment when Ryan Seacrest, Harry Connick Jr., Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez were standing like 5 feet away from me. And Harry was all: "Hey guys, these are the Idol Tweethearts!" And they all turned and were like: "HI GUYS!" I can die happy now.

This is me pretending that I got cut from the show. (This is the real exit point for the contestants!)

This was my dream! And now it's gone!

All this to say, you guys. American Idol Season 13 is gonna rock. I should know. I saw it with mine very own eyeballs.



ALSO, Big Question: Have you watched American Idol before? If so, did you ever QUIT WATCHING? And why? What would bring you back? Be honest! :)